Welcome to Östersund, Sweden!
Östersund is the capital of Jämtland County. Having a vibrant student population, and a beautiful ambiance, it highlights Sweden’s love for the good life. Compact and easily explorable on foot, its location next to Storsjön lake gives the city a distinct charisma, making it a must-visit destination in Scandinavia.
From a date with wildlife to awe-inspiring panoramas, from outdoor activities to an Östersund FK match, from dog sledding to culinary brilliance, this is your worldwide local’s guide to unraveling the hidden secrets of Östersund.
Begin with a Lesson in Culture
The best way to understand the psyche of Östersund is to submerge yourself in its local culture. Start your journey by spending a few hours at Jamtli museum, and learn about the region’s past. Then, head to Storsjöhyttan and watch in awe as artists transform molten glass into beautiful pieces of art, right in front of your eyes. The city’s artisanal history is hands-on and a reflection of its people.
Worldwide Local Tip: Being in this city is about embracing the Östersund weather, and winter is a great season to be in the city. Winterpark on the lake is where you’d want to be for a relaxing day, mingling with the locals. Deck chairs to take in the rays, activities galore, and lit up barbeque fires where you can get food and have a picnic, there’s something here for every member of the family to enjoy.
For the Nature Lover
It’s also a huge mistake to be in Östersund during winter and miss out on a dog sledding experience. A thrilling, and bumpy ride that takes you straight into the mesmerizing landscapes of the region, the tour costs around $100, and for a little extra you can even take a bath in a wood-fired tub followed by a sauna.
As a true worldwide local, being one with wildlife is second nature. In Östersund, Moose Garden is where the whole family can witness these magnificent creatures from up close. You do have to be part of a tour to enter the enclosure, so check their timings and plan accordingly. However, be prepared to hear giggling and “Ewww” as you discover that they make paper from moose droppings here.
Worldwide Local Tip: They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and a prime example of that is found half an hour away from the city at the Mus-Olles Museum. A fascinating collection of everything, from packaging to medicine bottles and eggs, the museum is a little world of discoveries. Kids will especially find it to be a treasure-trove of captivating peculiarities.
Eat Like a Local
Speaking of regional specialties, food in Östersund presents us with a few distinct options. It is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, and one of the best places in Sweden to try moose and reindeer meat along with local cheeses. However, don’t leave without indulging in Kolbullen, the super-rich, sinfully delicious thick pancakes with bacon and lingonberry jam. You can thank us later from foodie heaven.
Worldwide Local Tip: Very much like food, music runs through the veins of the Swedes. If music is also your drug of choice, plan your trip around Storsjöyran, Sweden’s oldest music festival. Held over ten days in July-August, you can dance away all night, and day, while getting your groove on with international and local artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Van Morrison, Sting, Bryan Adams, The Corrs, and Lady Gaga.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Come snow or shine; there’s always a lively atmosphere in the city, all year round, that transforms it into a young and eventful place--he who flies to Östersund leaves with a big smile on his face! With an emphasis on family, food, being out and about, and making the most of nature, Östersund is the idyllic all-season escape for the adventurous and ardent worldwide local traveler.